It’s Sound Check!
with Yulia Akerholt
What’s been your most memorable project?
This is a tough choice; I’ve been lucky to work on so many memorable projects. I can’t possibly choose just one so I’m going to cheat and list a few:
The Boys – my first credit as a sound editor on a feature. I re-watched it recently, it remains a very impressive a film. South Solitary – a very underrated movie in my opinion, and a joy to work on. The director Shirley Barrett had very well developed ideas for the soundtrack, and working with her to achieve her precise and gentle vision was very satisfying.
Mao’s Last Dancer – I got to work with the wonderful Bruce Beresford and travel to Beijing to supervise ADR!
Suburban Mayhem – we were given carte blanche to go wild with the sound, which was a lot of fun.
Tracks – a bitter-sweet memory, as it was the last feature film I worked on with the late Andrew Plain. I loved working on Tracks, it was a challenging but very rewarding and enjoyable experience, and the director John Curran was great fun to work with.
And how can I not add Mad Max: Fury Road to this list? I’d better stop there.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I’d be a struggling visual artist!
If you could have worked on any soundtrack in history, what would it have been?
I was going to say Blade Runner, but Nigel Christensen beat me to it! A recent film springs to mind, Under the Skin. It’s the most interesting and bold soundtrack I can think of from the past few years. The soundscape is on the one hand so utterly authentic in its dialogue and sense of location, while the sound design elements and music strike from out of nowhere. I understand the sound designer Johnnie Burn became involved in the process very early on and worked closely and collaboratively with the composer Mica Levi, and the result is stunning – an aggressive, insistent and uncompromising soundtrack.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Trust your ears.
Of course it’s important to strive for technical excellence, but two of my mentors over the years, Sam Petty and Liam Egan, both taught me that creativity is equally important: if it sounds good, do it!